TBIListServ: Federal News Update

Personal injury attorney Ian Mattoch has represented the catastrophically injured in Hawaii for over 35 years.  As a member of the TBI Listserv, Ian received the following update of Federal news, activities and events related to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD)
Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE):  Military Kids Website Adds New Features to Help Parents and Educators

The Defense Department added new features to its website for military children, MilitaryKidsConnect.org<http://www.militarykidsconnect.org/>, to help parents and educators explain difficult topics associated with military life.  Since its launch last January, MilitaryKidsConnect.org has served more than 125,000 visitors and won five industry excellence awards. To mark the one-year anniversary, the website has new content designed for children, parents and educators.  MilitaryKidsConnect.org was created by the Defense Department’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology<http://www.t2health.org/>, known as T2.

The website uses innovative ways to help military youth cope with the unique strains of military life. In addition to disruptions from parents deploying to assignments away from home, military children are affected by moving frequently, changing schools and making new friends. They also have to live with readjustment issues a parent might experience after a deployment. These issues may be associated with post-traumatic stress or physical disabilities, for example.

“After watching the interaction with kids on Military Kids Connect this past year, we saw many conversations about trying to understand the issues they live with,” said Dr. Kelly Blasko, T2 psychologist. “We developed the added features to help parents and teachers answer questions kids were sharing with each other.”

Blasko said the website will continue to add features and information. Separations, moving and changing friends frequently may be unusual experiences for civilian children, but for military kids, they’re common challenges.

According to Blasko, the website helps military kids understand their world and, hopefully, makes it more fun for them.

The National Center for Telehealth and Technology, located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., serves as the primary Defense Department office for cutting-edge approaches in applying technology to psychological health. More information about MilitaryKidsConnect.org and T2 is at t2health.org<http://www.t2health.org/>.

T2 is a part of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.
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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (HHS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):  Get a Heads Up on Concussion in Sports Policies

Recently many states, schools, and sports leagues and organizations have created policies or action plans on concussion in youth and high school sports. While these policy efforts show some promise, more research is needed to learn if these strategies can help educate coaches and parents about this issue and help protect children and teens from concussion and other serious brain injuries.

State Laws:
Beginning in 2009, the state of Washington passed the first concussion in sports law, called the Zackery Lystedt Law.4 One month later, Max’s law passed in Oregon. In total, between 2009 and 2012, 43 states, and the District of Columbia, passed laws on concussions in sports for youth and/or high school athletes (often called Return to Play laws). Some organizations, such as the National Conference of State Legislatures, created online maps to track and update concussion in sports laws by state.

Local Policies and Action Plans:
Along with the three action steps listed above, some school and league concussion policies include additional action steps in their policies or implementation plans. Research is needed to learn if these additional action steps can help protect children and teens from concussion and other serious brain injuries.

Download Get a Heads Up on Concussion in Sports Policies PDF [cid:image001.png@01CE44B9.22C72C80] [590KB]<http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/pdf/HeadsUpOnConcussionInSportsPolicies-a.pdf>

Implementing Return to Play: Learning from the Experiences from Early Implementers:
In May 2009, the State of Washington passed the “Zackery Lystedt Law” to address concussion management in youth athletics. The Washington law was the first state law to require a “removal and clearance for Return to Play” among youth athletes. Between 2009 and 2012, 42 additional states and the District of Columbia passed similar laws.

In order to assess the implementation of Return to Play laws, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) conducted a case study evaluation on the Return to Play implementation efforts in two states: Washington and Massachusetts. These two states were selected because they were both early adopters of Return to Play and because their laws varied on several important dimensions, including the role of the health department and other stakeholder groups. The evaluation was designed to assess implementation efforts, including related challenges and successes in implementation.

Return to Play laws include a variety of different components that can be complicated to implement, such as removal from play, collection of concussion histories, required training for different stakeholders, etc. Additionally, Return to Play laws do not always provide specific guidance on how each of the components of the laws should be carried out. Some laws identify a specific entity, such as a state agency, to develop regulations and other laws are less specific. As a result, implementers are sometimes required to make decisions after the law has passed that can have an impact on successful implementation. Thoroughly considering the logistics of implementation and engaging in a robust planning process can help increase the consistency and quality of implementation.

Download the Implementing Return to Play Guide [cid:image001.png@01CE44B9.22C72C80] [550KB]<http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/pdf/RTP_Implementation-a.pdf>

Mobile Device Use While Driving — United States and Seven European Countries, 2011
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)<http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/> Weekly Report:  March 15, 2013 / 62(10); 177-182

Road traffic crashes are a global public health problem, contributing to an estimated 1.3 million deaths annually. Known risk factors for road traffic crashes and related injuries and deaths include speed, alcohol, nonuse of restraints, and nonuse of helmets. More recently, driver distraction has become an emerging concern. To assess the prevalence of mobile device use while driving in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States, CDC analyzed data from the 2011 EuroPNStyles and HealthStyles surveys. Prevalence estimates for self-reported talking on a cell phone while driving and reading or sending text or e-mail messages while driving were calculated.

Reported by Rebecca B. Naumann, MSPH, Ann M. Dellinger, PhD, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC. Corresponding contributor: Rebecca B. Naumann, rnaumann@cdc.gov<mailto:rnaumann@cdc.gov>, 770-488-3922.

Mobile Device Use While Driving — United States and Seven European Countries, 2011
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm6210.pdf

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking, November 2012:  The Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking includes a comprehensive review of state policies and programs that can serve as an invaluable resource for coalitions, state agencies, researchers, and the general public.

The data for each state are collected in a State Report, which is the most comprehensive and readily accessible summary of state underage drinking prevention activities available. Each State Report and Policy Summary are easily retrievable using dropdown menus on the website.

Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking, November 2012
http://store.samhsa.gov/product/PEP12-RTCUAD

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (VA):
Substance Use and Traumatic Brain Injury Risk Reduction and Prevention

The Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 19 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) is pleased to announce the release of an educational video titled, Substance Use and Traumatic Brain Injury Risk Reduction and Prevention.

This seven-minute program provides information regarding the impact of using drugs and alcohol after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The video guides the viewer through a discussion about how the brain works before and after a brain injury, and then demonstrates how drugs and alcohol can affect persons with a history of TBI using brain animations and short vignettes.

This tool was designed to help providers engage clients in a dialogue about substance use post-injury and was made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

Jennifer Olson-Madden<http://www.mirecc.va.gov/visn19/staff/olson-madden.asp>, Ph.D., VISN 19 MIRECC was the project PI. Collaborators included John Corrigan, Ph.D., Ohio State University, and Lisa Brenner<http://www.mirecc.va.gov/visn19/staff/brenner.asp>, Ph.D., VISN 19 MIRECC.

Watch and Order the Video: Substance Use and Traumatic Brain Injury Risk Reduction and Prevention.

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES – Institute of Medicine.
Sports-Related Concussions in Youth

Project Scope:  An ad hoc committee will conduct a study and prepare a report on sports-related concussions in youth, from elementary school through young adulthood, including military personnel and their dependents. The committee will review the available literature on concussions, in the context of developmental neurobiology, in terms of their causes, relationships to hits to the head or body during sports, effectiveness of protective devices and equipment, screening and diagnosis, treatment and management, and long-term consequences.

 

Based on currently available evidence, the report will include findings on all of the above and provide recommendations to specific agencies and organizations (governmental and non-governmental) on factors to consider when determining the concussive status of a player. The report will include a section focused on youth sport concussion in military dependents as well as concussion resulting from sports and physical training at Service academies and recruit training for military personnel between the ages of 18-21. Recommendations will be geared toward research funding agencies (NIH, CDC, AHRQ, MCHB, DoD), legislatures (Congress, state legislatures), state and school superintendents and athletic directors, athletic personnel (athletic directors, coaches, athletic trainers), military personnel (sports medicine providers, athletic trainers, Service academy trainers and directors), parents, and equipment manufacturers. The report will also identify the need for further research to answer questions raised during the study process.

The project is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research and Education Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC Foundation). Funding for the study was provided to the CDC Foundation by the National Football League. The project began on October 1, 2012. A consensus report will be issued at the end of the project.

Provide  FEEDBACK<http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/feedback.aspx?key=49495&type=project> on this project.

THE WHITE HOUSE:
Fact Sheet: BRAIN Initiative – April 2013

“If we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas… Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy… Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s… Now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race.”  – President Barack Obama, 2013 State of the Union

In his State of the Union address, the President laid out his vision for creating jobs and building a growing, thriving middle class by making a historic investment in research and development.

Today, at a White House event, the President unveiled a bold new research initiative designed to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain. Launched with approximately $100 million in the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget, the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative ultimately aims to help researchers find new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.

The BRAIN Initiative will accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought. These technologies will open new doors to explore how the brain records, processes, uses, stores, and retrieves vast quantities of information, and shed light on the complex links between brain function and behavior.

This initiative is one of the Administration’s “Grand Challenges” – ambitious but achievable goals that require advances in science and technology. In his remarks today, the President called on companies, research universities, foundations, and philanthropists to join with him in identifying and pursuing the Grand Challenges of the 21st century.

BRAIN Initiative Challenges Researchers to Unlock Mysteries of Human Mind
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/04/02/brain-initiative-challenges-researchers-unlock-mysteries-human-mind

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